Saturday, December 7, 2013

(Perceived) Importance

Important:  Having serious meaning or worth; deserving or requiring serious attention.*
Importance:  The quality or state of being important.*

What does it mean to be important and what makes someone or something more important than the next person or thing?  Does level of importance equate to social status?  Is someone important because others say they are or because people decide for themselves that they are important?  A date or event deemed important to one community might be irrelevant to the next.  Isn't importance all relevant to the context in which the label is being applied?
We all have various levels of importance but just how important each of us are at any given time really depends upon the circumstances and the environment.  As a parent you are important to your children but how important you are to your loved ones carries little weight in the workplace.  Just because your Mamma says you are awesome and important doesn't mean your boss has to agree.  In the professional arena you might be important in your company but how does your status in the office carry any weight at home or in your non-professional social circles?  Does having people at your beck and call at work exempt you from walking the dog and taking out the trash at home?  Does it mean you don't have to obey the speed limit when driving or grant you an exemption from abiding by the bi-laws of your homeowners association?  It would appear that some people seem to think this is the case.

Politics is an arena that really makes me think about all of this.  It seems to be a universally held belief that if you are an elected official or a political appointee, you are deemed important.  But important to whom?  The people who elected or appointed you?  What about those who specifically did not cast their votes in your favor; are you still important to them?  Does the importance of being a small town mayor or tribal leader in your community carry any weight in the larger context of society?  If you are deemed important by virtue of a political appointment in your village does that carry any level of significance in a larger city, your country, or the world as a whole?  Does being a minister in Monkobania make you important to anyone other than the residents of your tiny nation?  And what happens when you are no longer holding office.  Does your importance still hold strong or do you go back to waiting your turn in line and washing the dinner dishes?

And so I find myself returning to my original questions.  What does it mean to be important and isn't importance all relative?

* Definitions are from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to your posts and your pictures everyday, so you've been nominated!